Sunday, 28 May 2017

Warriors Get The Job Done

After a couple of back to back performances that were nothing short of embarrassing from the Warriors, the NZ based outfit turned up and put on a show for the fans at Mt Smart, albeit to an under strength Broncos outfit. That being said, you can only play the team that's put in front of you and it was crucial that they got the job done. Anything short of a victory would have put serious pressure on the club and no doubt would have completely stripped away any confidence the players may have still had left within them. As the Origin period roles around for another year, the Warriors find themselves in an all too familiar position. Yet ANOTHER slow start to the season leaving them behind the pack and desperate to string some wins together.

Some interesting stats to take a look at are the Warriors winning record for different parts of the season between 2012-2016. Pre Origin, on average are a 14th placed side with a winning record of 40.4%. Post Origin they're even worse, ranked on average a 16th placed side with a winning record of just 21.2%. During the Origin period though they're a different kind of beast and are ranked the best team during that time of year with a winning record of 70%.

That winning record during the Origin period is all well and good but does it really count for that much? History and common sense says no as we've failed to make the 8 throughout the seasons those stats are taken from and not only that, if you can only win against heavily depleted sides, what chance are you of really having a crack in the finals if you do happen to sneak in?

As i mentioned earlier, you can only play against the team that is in front of you, depleted or not, and it was refreshing to see the Warriors come out against the Broncos with plenty of enthusiasm and hunger.

#Faither Five

1. Running Metres

A massive improvement was made in this area and an improvement that was desperately needed. Last week against the Dragons the Warriors only managed to make 1417m in total. Fast forward to last nights effort and the starting 13 alone managed to better than effort with 1555m between them. Add the effort from the bench and the total for the match was 1851m.

When you're making as many metres as that, you're putting the opposition defence under plenty of stress and in doing so opening up opportunities for the all star spine at your disposal to weave their magic which was well and truly on display last night.

11 of the 17 players in Warriors colours last night managed to crack 100 plus metres, another 2 fell just short with 91m and RTS going past the 200m mark.

2. The Spine

What a difference a team going forward can make to your spine. With the opposition on the back foot, the extra space that was opened up for the all star quartet was there for all to see.

All the razzle dazzle aside, what i like seeing even more is the halves being tackled on occasion instead of just standing at 1st or 2nd receiver and shoveling the ball out toward the outside backs. This adds doubt to the opposition defensive line and puts them in two minds about what decision they need to make defensively. This is putting stress on your opposition, with stress comes cracks in the line and when those cracks begin to appear the fire power at the Warriors disposal is more than enough to start cutting them to pieces and piling on the points.

3. Our "Average Joes"

Quite often it's only the big name players who get all the accolades but to be honest, our most consistent players this season week in and week out are those without the "Super Star" tag next to their name.  James Gavet, Blake Ayshford and Ken Maumalo.

Gavet has been huge for us this season and been more or less fighting the battle in the middle of the field on his own.

Why Ayshford cops so much criticism from fans is beyond me. He isn't a superstar and he never will be but he gets the job done. The difference between his poor games and good games are very little which shows consistency and an ability to play at his best, or very close to it, on a regular basis. If our "superstars" were able to play with the same consistency Blake manages to churn out we would be a Top 4 side without doubt.

Another who cops plenty of heat, Ken Maumalo. Not sure about anyone else but i'm happy to take the 1696m he has made this season so far at an average of 154m per game. What exactly is the problem with Ken? Seems to me he is doing a Manu like job.

4. Missed Tackles

Vs Dragons - 57
Vs Broncos - 25

Not much more to say other than it makes life a lot easier when you aren't missing 50 plus a game.

5. Minimising Errors

With both sides having 37 sets each the big difference between the two teams was the completion rates. The Warriors completion rate finishing at 86% with 32 completed sets. Yes, you did read that right, Warriors completion rate at 86%.

Add to that the Kiwi outfit only conceded 2 penalties. Almost unheard of. When you make your tackles and complete your sets you're always going to be hard to beat.


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